People often ask me what we will grow on the farm. Sometimes, it seems like they are expecting a short answer, like “alfalfa”, or “pumpkins”. I’m still working on my stock response, but tend to go with something more like “everything!”. Because once you start visiting nurseries and looking at catalogs, how do you not want one of everything?
I’m on a kick with corn varieties and spices currently. In the end I will probably have to narrow the corn options down so they don’t cross-pollinate into an unusable Frankenstein, but I haven’t decided yet which to put off for next year. Japonica is a Japanese variety with rainbow striped leaves and purple tassels. Our winter cornbread could be red, blue, or green. And strawberry popcorn is almost guaranteed a corner of the field so I can tempt the kids that come to the farm.
The perennial herbs are an investment for future seasons that I feel fully justify themselves. They’re not expensive as tiny plants or seeds, and I hope many will become established as a nearly self-sufficient spice cabinet and specialty market. Some I’ve never used, including sorrel, hyssop, black sesame, and valerian. Others I’ve just never had backyard access to, like turmeric and capers.
Then there are the basic vegetables that even grocery stores sell in rainbow packs, like carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. So that ends up being more like a dozen vegetables than just three. And fruit trees are being strictly limited to a couple carefully selected varieties of each so they don’t take over the property. As much as I’d love an expansive orchard, there are so many other things to grow!
Who wants to come over this summer and cook, dry, and can all the excess?!